Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Alarm Clock

You would think that after nearly ten months with me he would know that sleep, to me, is sacred.

I will accept equal guilt in staying up after midnight, telling secrets and giggling. But this morning may be unforgivable.

First, his cell phone alarm went off an entire hour before mine was set to wake me. (queue birds chirping, the sun shining, me muttering curses under my breath.) But the cell phone alarm doesn't wake him up, does it? No. It wakes me up. In blind confusion. Hitting the snooze button on my clock radio. Which turns it ON. It takes me a few seconds to realize that the cell phone is still humming, and now the radio is on too. So I shove him. He hits the snooze on his phone and I fumble to reset my alarm. He goes back to sleep.

All this commotion wakes up the incontinent dog.

I manage to drift back to half-sleep after he gets up to let the dog out and take a shower. But then there he is again. Digging through his clothes, getting dressed.


Coughing in that very specific way that sounds like "Ahem. aHEM. AHEM!" Like he's trying to wake me up.

Then he settles into the armchair by the bed with his computer. AHEM.
"Are you sick, baby?"
"Just this nagging cough."
"I'll say."

And there he sits aheming away, checking his email. And no amount of my groaning and tossing and turning is giving him the hint that it would be really nice if I could could just get twenty more minutes of sleep before my alarm goes off.

And then. And then. He puts his earbuds in and blasts Wu Tang Clan from his computer. So loud that I can hear it across the room from under a pillow.

So I make it to work with enough caffeine to keep at least half-awake till lunch. And I debate all day; should I try to take a walk on my lunch break, or surrender to the back seat of my car for a nap? I can barely keep my eyes open and the nap is calling to me, but I know myself well enough to know that it will be nearly impossible to wake up and function again after a sweaty afternoon car nap.

So I walk. It should wake me up, get the blood pumping. Endorphins and all that crap. But every ten steps the lush green grass along the neatly paved walking paths calls out me. I'm listening to a book on my ipod, drinking a diet coke as big as my head, and power walking through the office park and all I can think about is curling up in a ball in the soft green manicured grass and taking a long, long nap.

I will go home tonight, and tell him about my day, about my walk, about my napping in the grass fantasy. I will make him tea for his cough. And we will stay up past midnight telling secrets and giggling.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

fascinating things i could blog about

the trials of having a geriatric, overweight, incontinent pit bull.

the funny things my kids say. like for instance on sunday, when Lucas and I had an argument where he insisted that I had a penis. He offered the fact that I peed on the potty as proof.

getting up the nerve to start my own business vs. going back to school

mouse-proofing my house


seasteading (my current unrealistic dream future, which would allow me to be queen of my own country)

plus lots of other fun and funny things that i could say if this was anonymous.
which is a thought. hmmm.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Never Let Me Go

So we were at that wedding last weekend. One of Eric's oldest, and once, closest friends got married. Eric and another high school friend spent the weekend stunned and dismayed at how much their friend had changed. Without putting too much detail out into the internet, I'll just say that he is no longer the person he was when they were young. He chose a different path. One that they couldn't understand and couldn't follow.

And the question for them was: what now? What do you do when your best friend joins a cult, becomes a drug addict, turns tricks, or makes whatever other radical choice that's going turn them into someone you just don't know anymore? When is it OK to just let them go? I mean obviously, if they're doing something harmful to themselves, you're going to try to stop them. Interventions and shit. But what if it's not that extreme? What if it's something that you just don't understand? Like they start listening to Nickleback or get a swastika tattooed on their face?

I've been there. My cousin Kim and I were as close as sisters. People who didn't know we were related thought we were a couple. We grew up together, shared everything, knew each other completely and loved each other deeply. And then, we didn't.

There are too many reasons why to name them, nothing sudden. No falling out, we just drifted. Now she lives far far away, off the grid. We're related, so I know she's still out there. But beyond that, I have no idea. I still think about her every day. I can't think about my childhood, or teens, or even my 20s without thinking about her. But she isn't who she was then. Or is it me? I dunno. Maybe I'm the one who changed.

Someday I'll tell you the story about the time she begged me to let her stick a steak knife up my nose to prove that I loved her.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Lucas: Mom, our house is kind of dirty. Maybe we should get a new one.
Me: How about if we just clean this one?
Lucas: We should get some diggers to come and break up this house so they can build us a new one.
Me: Where will we live while they're building us a new house?
Lucas: Grandma Sue's.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sugar the Pill

Eric and I have been debating the merits of randomly generated fortunes lately. He likes to use the I Ching online to receive guidance from above. I used to use the dictionary.com word of the day. But that one hasn't been speaking to me as clearly as it used to (today's word is Pejorative), so I've decided to switch. My new fortune teller is my ipod. Put it on shuffle in times of doubt and whatever song it chooses is the message that the universe thinks you need to hear.

So my fortune for this morning is Sugar the Pill by Bettie Serveert:

Isn't it swell,
we've got our own dark horse ride.
And lean on this smell,
and let the whole darn thing slide.
Get down on the sofa with a six-pack,
let 'm take the years back,
until the day has dawned.
Deciding who will take the blame
for every kid that went insane.
Sugar the pill
it doesn't matter, take a long shot,
someone always will.
Isn't this great,
we played it off the cuff.
What an escape,
before it got to rough.
Now put it in the cupboard for a short nap.
Don't let your mind snap,
just le the daze roll on.
Deciding who will take the blame
for every cloud that ever rained.
And sugar the pill,
it doesn't matter if you take a long shot.
Slipsliding into a summer rot.
Never really give a damn
for the have and have not.
And sugar the pill,
it doesn't matter if you take a long shot.
Surviving is an awful lot.
Self sufficient colour-deaf
never find the right spot.

Frankly, Universe, I'm stumped.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The worst part about having a mouse infestation is that it's like watching a really lame horror movie. You know they can't hurt you, but you always feel like they're gonnna jump out any second and startle the fuck out of you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Confession (from an email conversation with old friends)

Here's a confession for you:
You know i grew up in the woods out past Osage, right? So when we were little, C____'s family were our closest neighbors and our moms were kind of friends. His mom didn't have a car during the day, so if there was ever an emergency, she would call my mom and we would go pick them up and drive them. Several times, she called after C_____ had done some terribly foolish thing and needed to be taken to the ER. Cut off his pinky with a hatchet, hit himself in the head with a hammer...
So after Mom and I moved to Indiana, I went through some really hard times. Mom always kind of blamed herself for uprooting me and moving me to a really harsh, angry town, and when she confessed this to me, telling me that she thought I would have been OK if we had stayed in Minnesota, I told her this:
"Mom, on the night before we moved to Indiana, I made out with C______." Her response: "Oh, never mind then."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


When Eric and I met, we were talking about how we both enjoy poetry. I like to read it. He likes to write it. And I told him that once, when I was eighteen, I had written a poem that I wasn't at all embarrassed to let people read. I remember quite liking it, in fact. It was about a train.

So I decided to try to find it. I had never unpacked all the boxes of miscellaneous stuff from my last move, and thought there was a possibility that the journal, containing said poem, could be in one of several boxes in my basement. I dug. I found one box full of pictures, sketchbooks, journals, and old letters. The journal with the poem wasn't there. I'm sure I tossed it out with many others years ago in a fit of cleaning. Or a fit of never ever ever wanting anyone to read all the ridiculous things I wrote in journals when I was a teenager.

But there was one journal, a sketch book actually, unlined, with only a few entries. I probably saved this one alone because I couldn't justify throwing away all the nice clean unused pages. I'm not sure exactly when I started this journal, or when I quit writing in it. There's one entry about receiving a critique of a sculpture in art school, but another one about a friend that I don't think could have been written until a couple years after I left college. One entry stood out. I was ranting about someone named Brandon.

Brandon, apparently, had a very cold and removed view on things. He thought that emotions made for a messy life. I thought he was way off base. I said I embraced the emotional turmoil and chaos. Sure, sometimes I was miserable, but at least I knew a was alive.  Brandon thought that made me weak. I worried that his "Vulcan" thinking was going to influence my life. I wondered how I could prevent it. How could I go on living my life in all its sloppy splendor?

I guess I figured out how to insulate myself from his world view.

I have no memory of ever knowing anyone named Brandon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


To the best of my knowledge, I've never killed an animal. Not even with my car.

Well, I did go fishing with my dad when I was little, so that's probably not true, but you know what I mean. It's not just my bleeding-heart animal rights side either, although that's a big part of it. I think all things furry are adorable and deserve to live out their furry little lives without my interference. But I'm also totally creeped out by death. And suffering.

So when I bought my house last year and discovered that it was full of mice, I just resolved myself to peaceful coexistence. The mice mostly stayed in the basement, where I rarely go, and really only seemed to want to come inside during the colder months. I didn't see any sign of them at all last summer.

But this winter there seems to have been a population explosion. I blame myself. I left a big bag of bird seed in the laundry room for a few months and didn't realize that the mice were feasting on it. They must have told their friends. And then their friends invited their extended families and their extended families posted it on craig's list... Now I see signs of them everywhere. And I think you know what I mean by "signs".

I've decided that something needs to be done. I'm a pretty tolerant person, as far as grossness goes. I have two little kids so there's poop and snot aplenty at my house. I have two big dogs: again with the poop. But when there's mouse poop on my bedside table, I draw the line.

I consulted the experts (David), and was told there was no realistic way to do this in a humane (not killing them) fashion. Although I did entertain the idea of just using live traps and bringing them to work with me and letting them go there. (And honestly, I still haven't ruled that out.) So I tried to prepare myself to cause a death. Lots of them, actually. I lay awake at night trying to picture myself loading mouse traps. Worse yet, emptying mouse traps.

Then a few days ago, I woke up in the morning for work. I made coffee and went into the bathroom and turned on the shower, curtain closed, to heat up the water. I brushed the sleep tangles out of my hair and pulled back the shower curtain to see a little gray mouse standing on her hind legs, face into my steamy shower, gently swaying back and forth, in a way that I couldn't help but think looked every bit like she was totally enjoying herself.

I turned the shower off, went into the kitchen, grabbed a plastic bowl and scooped a very wet mouse out of the bathtub and just popped it out on the back steps. If I had had clothes on I probably would have walked out and put it in the shed. I went back to the bathroom and took my shower. The whole time worrying about the poor mouse that I had put outside in 10 degree weather, soaking wet. I fretted. I wished I had given her a chance to dry off, or at least put her outside wrapped in a towel.
I told myself that I was going to need to toughen up if I was going to rid my kitchen counter of mice and make it safe to keep the tomatoes out in a bowl again.

As soon as I got out of the shower I went and checked to see if by chance she was still out there. And if she had been, I very much think I would have brought her back inside.